March 25th, 2009


Freeman Dyson

[...] the experts who talk publicly about politically contentious questions tend to speak more clearly than they think.
This is called "heretical thoughts", but there is nothing heretical about it, just common sense and experience. (Am I quoting Bulgakov here? Just as well.)

I think his discussion of naturalistic versus humanistic ethic is also important, perhaps more important for the general public, not just scientists. But I wonder: does he sound old-fashioned?

Update. And now, the New York Times, Inconvenient Truth.
Dyson’s own wife, Imme, who, after seeing the film in a local theater with Dyson when it was released in 2006, looked at her husband out on the sidewalk and, with visions of drowning polar bears still in her eyes, reproached him: “Everything you told me is wrong!” she cried.
Don't know if this is true, but if it is, it is a remarkable piece of foolery on her part. Trusting others over your family, trusting a politician and propagandist over a scientist. But I am not sure this is the way it happened: I do not trust NYT that much.

Update. New York Times again (Tierney Lab this time), Tragedy Is Not Our Freeman Dyson's Business.